Seattle's hot new neighborhood is apparently Portland.
You should watch the band OK GO in this choreographed music video. It's amazing.
I went up to the archery range this morning, for the first time in a couple months. I'm wondering if that's why my back has been bothering me: it seems to be a pretty good exercise for strengthening the muscles that have been tweaked out. Then I exchanged my helmet (which I think I'm going to do yet again tomorrow, because the one they gave me fits great but has a big honking scratch in the back, and for the substantial price I'm paying, a petty part of me thinks I should get a pristine product), ate lunch, and then off riding for a couple hours.
I love this bike.
I ended up on 280 accidentally, and I think people are on crack when they say this bike doesn't have any power. I had it going at 70mph indicated (bike speedometers suck, so this was probably about 65mph), in sixth gear at 9000rpm (redline is 14000rpm, and most of the power is around 8000-12000rpm). I think the greatest safety feature of a motorcycle is the ability to accelerate and maneuver better than any sane automobile, allowing you to find a position where you have the most space and time possible to keep yourself safe. Entering a flow of traffic, it's not safe to count on other drivers to slow down for you. In a car, they'll see you, and really, even if they rear-end you, it's unlikely to be the end of the world. On the bike, I enter the flow of traffic and then dart ahead to get some space from the car in back of me, but also to move to where I'm out of other people's blind spots. It's neat, and also wonderfully all-encompassing. It's a very focused activity. It has to be.
Before anything else I went out to the office buildings on Seaport Boulevard, way out by the bay, and practiced zooming around the roads and parking lots there. For both safety and fun, I need to improve my turns--eventually I want to do the twisty roads up in the hills--so I did that over and over. It's a trippy and fear-inducing maneuver, because you're leaned over and scared of the bike falling, which makes you want to slow down and stop everything, except that you actually need to accelerate through the turn, to increase the centrigual force outward from the center of the turn, the same way if you swing a bucket of water in a circle fast enough, the water is thrown to the outside. It's tricky for me to wrap my head around, that this machine can quite happily perform all sorts of exciting tricks that aren't possible and have no analogue in a car.
Plus she's green.
And I bought clothes today. My first pair of jeans in years, a second belt, two black t-shirts, and a pair of double-fronted work pants (which are comfy and also good for riding until I get off my ass and order the gear I think I want. I have an armored jacket and gloves, but I need pants and probably boots, and the Aerostich will let me wear street clothes underneath (actually it's required, since in the event of a tumble at high enough speeds, even abrasion-tough textiles will melt somewhat). I don't really like the look or smell of leather, though leather is absolutely on the menu when I get to the point of taking a bike to the track. And really I suspect I'll eventually get some riding leathers anyway, just to feel safer.